Using multiple forecasts to create scenarios

Within a single LivePlan company, you can create up to ten different forecast scenarios. You can use these forecasting scenarios in several ways. For example, you can create scenarios for your company's best, average, and worst-case scenarios. Or you can explore scenarios for adding staff, increasing marketing expenses, opening a new office, etc. You could even create scenarios for several divisions (or locations) of the same business.

With this feature, you can delete an unwanted forecast and start over with a new one if necessary.

Note: When you have multiple forecasts attached to one company, any change of start date or number of years of monthly detail will affect all the forecasts attached to the company. If you need to create two forecasts with different start dates, we recommend making a copy of the company instead.

This feature is available to LivePlan Premium users. To learn more about LivePlan Premium, please click here

Creating a new forecast scenario

When you set up a company, it will have one default forecast. To create a new forecast scenario, click + Create underneath your company name in the left-hand sidebar.

create forecast scenario.png

You can keep this original forecast as the only one in your company or create up to nine more scenarios.

There are three ways to create a new forecast scenario:

Scroll down for instructions on all three options.

Copying an existing forecast

You can create a new scenario using an existing forecast (within the same company) as the starting point:

  1. Click Create button in the left-hand sidebar:
    create forecast scenario.png

  2. Choose Copy an existing scenario:
    copy existing scenario.png

  3. Select the scenario you want to copy:
    select scenario.png

  4. Name the new scenario and click Create Scenario:
    name scenario.png

  5. The scenario you just created will be selected as the active scenario, and it will appear at the top of the scenario selection menu.

  6. To switch back to the Original scenario, click on the scenario selection menu to view a dropdown of your available scenarios: 
    multiple scenarios.png
Note: The selected scenario will populate the Pitch financials, Forecast, Benchmarks, and Dashboard pages. You can change the active scenario at any time.

Starting a new scenario from scratch

If you want to start with a clean slate, you can create a new scenario that is empty:

  1. Click + Create button in the left-hand sidebar: 
    create forecast scenario.png

  2. Choose Start from scratch:
    scenario start from scratch.png

  3. Name the new scenario, then click Create Scenario:
    name_scenario.png

  4. The scenario you just created will be selected as the active scenario and appear at the top of the scenario selection menu. Once you enter data, this scenario will populate the Pitch financials, Forecast tables, financial statements, Benchmarks, and Dashboard:
    multiple scenarios.png

Creating a new scenario from your recent accounting data

If you use QuickBooks or Xero as your accounting solution, you can import your actuals into LivePlan. The most recent year of actuals can then be used to build a foundation for new scenarios automatically.

To use this feature, first, connect your LivePlan Dashboard to your QuickBooks Online or Xero account. Then, return to the Forecast page and proceed through the steps below.

  1. Click + Create button in the left-hand sidebar:
    create forecast scenario.png

  2. Choose Use accounting data:

Create new scenario from accounting data.png

Note: If you have not yet connected LivePlan to your accounting solution, you will see the note pictured above. In this case, you can click the Go to the Dashboard link to complete the connection and then return to the Forecast page to create a new scenario.

  1. If you have already connected LivePlan to your accounting solution, you will be prompted to name your new scenario. Click Create Scenario to complete the set-up:
    create new scenario final step.png
    Note: With the automated starting forecast feature, LivePlan uses the most recent year of accounting data to build a starting forecast. The definition of "most recent year of data" is based on the start date you've set for your forecast. If you've set your forecast to start in January 2024, for example, LivePlan will use accounting data from January - December 2023 to build your starting forecast. Suppose your forecast start date is set before the current month, and actual results are available for the current and/or prior months from your accounting provider. In that case, LivePlan will use actual results from any available months where it is available to build your starting forecast.

Switching to another forecast scenario

The active scenario for a company is shown at the top of the scenario selection menu. The numbers from the active scenario will populate all areas of your LivePlan company (the Pitch financials, Forecast tables, financial statements, Benchmarks, and Dashboard).

To switch the active scenario, click on the scenario selection menu, and choose a different scenario:multiple scenarios.png

Comparing forecast scenarios

If you have multiple scenarios in your forecast, you will see a drop-down menu above your forecast chart:

2023-05-08_11-15-48.png

 

Select a scenario from the drop-down menu to compare it to your current forecast. The comparison forecast will be plotted out in the charts along with the data from your current forecast:

Select comparison scenario.gif

 

Mouse over any of the monthly or annual figures in the chart to view a detailed comparison:

compare scenario data.png

Changing the name of a scenario

  1. Mouse over the scenario you'd like to rename from the scenario menu (if it isn't already the active scenario.) Then choose Edit:
    edit scenario.png

  2. In the overlay, edit the scenario's name, then click Create New Scenario:
    renaming your scenario.png
    Note: The name can be up to 60 characters long.

Deleting a scenario

If you have only one scenario in your company, you can't delete it. But you can create a new, blank scenario and start fresh by clicking the Create Scenario button at the top of your LivePlan window. LivePlan Premium users can create up to 10 forecast scenarios:
create forecast scenario.png

Once you have multiple scenarios in your company, you're able to delete any of them. But do keep in mind that deletion is permanent, and a deleted scenario can't be recovered.

To delete a scenario:

  1. To activate the scenario menu, click on the name of the currently-active scenario:
     multiple scenarios.png

  2. Mouse over the scenario you'd like to delete from the menu and click the Delete icon:
     Delete Scenario.png

  3. Click Delete Scenario to delete the scenario:
    confirm delete scenario.png

  4. If you delete the currently active scenario, you will be prompted to select which scenario you would like to work on. Make a selection from the drop-down menu, and then click the Go to Scenario button:
     multiple scenarios.png

Printing a plan with multiple forecast scenarios

When multiple forecasts are attached to a plan, only one can be included in a download. You can activate any forecast scenarios before downloading the plan for printing.

LivePlan doesn't currently have functionality for including several forecasts in the same plan. If this option would be helpful to you, please contact us and let us know more about your needs.

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